A BARNSLEY-born former model has written a tell-all book about her life and experiences, and is hoping to dispel the stereotype that she is ‘just a pretty face’.

Victoria Nixon, 71, now lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, but was born and grew up on Huddersfield Road, Barnsley, during the 1950s.

At 16 she was catapulted into the public eye after being discovered as a potential model, and went on to forge a successful career.

“I’ve always loved growing up in Barnsley,” said Victoria. “I loved the honesty and warmth of the people and I think it has made me very grounded. I’ve always considered myself a Barnsley lass, it’s a strong part of my character.”

At 16, Victoria was scouted to become a model after she caught the eye of Paul Jones, who was the lead singer of rock band Manfred Mann.

In Text Promo Image

After exchanging letters with Paul, Victoria decided to enrol at the Lucie Clayton School to learn deportment but later dropped out. Despite this, she became a successful model and was one of the first models not to have graduated from the school.

“A friend and I had gone along to the Mojo club in Sheffield which was owned by Peter Stringfellow,” Victoria added. “We got chatting to the band and Peter Jones told me I could be a model.

“I laughed it off at first but he eventually persuaded me to go for it and I was discovered by Helmut Newton while I was shopping in London and was soon booked for a job in Vogue.

“It was all so extraordinary for a girl from Barnsley.

“Even though I loved being a model, I am tired of being known as a model from the 60s, and decided to write a book about my life to show people I’m not just a pretty face and that I have been through some struggles.”

Victoria went on to become Daily Mail’s ‘face of 1968’ and she went on to become an advertising copywriter, open a deli in London and a business owner.

Victoria experienced loss at a young age when her father committed suicide after the Suez oil crisis, while her brother died just ten years later aged 30.

“The family business passed on to my dad and during the oil crisis he was on the verge of losing it all because there was no fuel to power the cars and one day he locked himself in his garage and took his life.

“Looking back on my life has been painful, there have been some things I’ve kept hidden for so long but I felt that it was the right time to put everything in writing,” she added. “It was sort of like therapy in a way.

“I’m hoping it will encourage people to judge others on who they are and not what their background is or stereotypes of that person.”

Victoria’s book, Head Shot, is available online.